Secretary of State's Investigators Arrest Henderson Man for Stealing $50,000 from Woman in Investment Scam
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pam duPré
Secretary of State Ross Miller observes America Saves Week (February 21 – 28)
by urging Nevadans to save wisely and avoid becoming a victim
(Carson City, NV – February 21, 2010) – Investigators with the Secretary of State’s Securities Division arrested 54-year old Frederick Gradl last week for securities fraud and theft after he allegedly bilked a Clark County woman out of $50,000. The victim says she was told she was buying a 1% share in a company called Nature Biosystems, LLC, manufacturer of a device that, when placed on the outside of a vehicle’s fuel tank, would improve gas mileage by nearly 25%. Investigators allege that the “device” is nothing more than a copper plate with adhesive material on it. Gradl reportedly told the victim she would become a millionaire in less than a year and that the investment would pay for college for her two children.
Prosecutors say Gradl failed to tell the victim that the device really wasn’t capable of doing what he claimed and also failed to tell her that all of the authorized interests in the company had already been transferred to founding members. Gradl has been charged with three felony counts of securities fraud, sale of an unregistered security, and theft.
As in all criminal matters, the Office of Secretary of State cautions that allegations are merely accusations and individuals are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“Once again, it appears an unsuspecting Nevadan may have been victimized by a smooth talker,” Secretary of State Ross Miller said after the arrest. “As the statewide elected official responsible for investigating investment scams, I want to observe America Saves Week by urging citizens to carefully guard their hard earned savings and do some checking before investing. I hope Nevadans will take some time during America Saves Week to learn more about the smartest ways to save and invest their money.”
America Saves Week (February 21-28) is a campaign organized by the Consumer Federation of America and the American Savings Education Council. Individuals are encouraged to visit www.nvsos.gov and click on the America Saves and Investor Education links to learn more about saving money on a tight budget, reducing debt, and investing wisely.
Tips for Saving Money *
• Save your loose change. Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly $200.
• Never purchase expensive items on impulse. Think over each expensive purchase for at least 24 hours. Acting on this principle will mean you have far fewer regrets about impulse purchases, and far more money for emergency savings
• Substitute coffee for expensive coffee drinks. The $2 a day you could well save by buying a coffee rather than a cappuccino or latte would allow you, over the course of a year, to completely fund a $500 emergency reserve.
• Bring lunch to work. If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over.
• Eat out one fewer time each month. If it costs you $25 to eat out, but only $5 to eat in, then the $20 you save each month allows you to almost completely fund a $500 emergency savings account.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs
• Ask your physician to consider prescribing generic drugs. Generic drugs can cost several hundred dollars less to purchase annually than brand-name drugs.
• Find the lowest-cost place to purchase prescription drugs. Make sure to check out not only your local pharmacist but also local supermarkets, area discount centers, and mail-order pharmacies
• Purchase store brand over-the-counter medications. Store brand medications often cost 20-40 percent less than nationally advertised brands. The savings could easily exceed $100 a year.
• Reduce credit card debt by $1,000. That $1,000 debt reduction will probably save you $150-200 a year, and much more if you're paying penalty rates of 20-30%.
• Use only the ATMs of your bank or credit union. Using the ATM of another financial institution once a week could well cost you $3 a withdrawal, or more than $150 over the course of a year.
• Make your monthly credit card payment on time. The $30-35 you save by not being charged a late fee each month on one card would save you most of the money you need for $500 in emergency savings
Test Your Savings Knowledge *
Q. How much loose change is available for Americans to save?
A. The U.S. Treasury says that Americans hold about $15 billion in loose change.
Q. What is the typical amount of emergency savings that Americans need?
A. According to one recent survey, the typical amount Americans spent last year on unexpected expenditures was $2000. Surprisingly, lower-income households in the survey cited the same amount.
Q. What are the two most important types of emergency expenditures?
A. According to the same survey, two-thirds of unexpected expenditures were related to medical care or motor vehicles.
Q. How long does it take to completely pay off a $1000 credit card balance if monthly payments are 2% of the balance (the typical minimum monthly payment) and there is a 24% penalty interest rate?
A. One will never pay off the balance. All payments pay off only interest owed.
Q. About how much more do families with a savings plan save than those without such a plan?
A. According to one study, if family incomes are the same, those families with a plan save about twice as much as those who do not have one.
Q. What is one source of “free” money for savings that is available to many Americans?
A. An employer’s match to a contributory workplace retirement plan such as a 401(k). Some employers, up to a certain level, will match each employee dollar contributed, thus guaranteeing at least a 100% yield on this savings.
Q. If they have no other income, how much must someone who retires at 65 have saved in order to be assured of an annual income of $50,000?
A. For a male at age 65, he should have $620,000 saved to ensure an average income of $50,000 a year for life, for a female at age 65, she should have $665,000.
Q. What percentage of elderly individuals depend entirely on Social Security payments for income?
A. In 2006, 25% of individuals age 65 and older relied 100% on Social Security payments for their income.
Q. If one saves $200 a month with a 5% annual yield, after 30 years how much savings will have accumulated?
A. Over $170,000 will have accumulated, and most of this amount will represent interest earned and compounded.
Q. What represents the most effective way lower-income families have built assets over the past several decades?
A. Through buying a home and paying off the mortgage in full. Over four-fifths of the assets of lower-income homeowners represent home equity.
Q. What is the most effective way to save $100,000?
A. Tell your employer or bank to transfer, each month, as much of your paycheck as possible automatically to a savings or investment account that pays interest.